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September Speaker Event

Chimney Swifts: Why We Should Care

Chimney SwiftThis event is free and open to the general public.

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Time: Social at 7:00 PM. Presentation begins at 7:30 PM.
Place: United Way Center, 50 Waugh


Naturalist and conservationist Anne Donovan has long had a special love for Chimney Swifts. As a middle-school science teacher, her emphasis was on Biological Sciences and Ecology, and her main goal was to instill in her young students a respect for and fascination with nature. Her volunteer work, both while teaching and during retirement, has exemplified these values. Anne has been an active volunteer and board member of Travis Audubon. She is also a Texas Master Naturalist and on the board of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve near Johnson City.

Chimney Swift image Greg Lavaty

The Adventures of a Chimney Swift Family After joining Travis Audubon in the 1980s, Anne got to know Paul and Georgean Kyle, who have spent much of their adult life researching Chimney Swifts. She eagerly absorbed all they had learned about these birds and helped them conduct workshops on building Chimney Swift towers. She learned how to clean out the towers during the winter and thus determine the number of eggs laid, young swifts fledged, and additional swifts roosting there. After retiring, Anne has volunteered to take bird programs to schools, garden clubs, and adult-education programs. She typically emphasizes Chimney Swifts and their dependence on humans for many of their habitat needs.

A few years ago, Anne, Georgean Kyle, and Kay Hart decided to write a children's book about Chimney Swifts. A middle-school colleague of Anne's, Kay taught English and creative writing and had long been an avid birder. Georgean and her husband, Paul Kyle, had written two books about Chimney Swifts, for which Georgean did all the illustrations. It was the perfect partnership.

Their book, The Adventures of a Chimney Swift Family, will be available for sale before and after the program. The Kyles' two books, Chimney Swifts: America's Mysterious Birds Above the Fireplace and Chimney Swift Towers: New Habitat for America's Mysterious Birds: A Construction Guide, will also be available. For more information on Chimney Swifts, go to www.chimneyswifts.org. To order additional books, contact Anne Donovan at ajdonovan@att.net.



2016 World Shorebirds Day: September 6

World Shorebirds Day is September 6 with activities spanning the weekend before. Houston Audubon, Help Gulf Birds, and many others are planning ways for you to discover and enjoy the amazing shorebirds that breed, migrate through, and winter in Texas. We'll have a big sit and birding walks at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary Saturday morning, September 3. Come join us for a beach-based tailgating party where there are shorebirds aplenty.

Nominate your shorebird of the year on the World Shorebirds Day Website


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